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An investigation of the potential impediments to transitioning to the use of Water Sensitive Urban Design practices in South East Queensland

Read about IWC Masters student Blair Scott's final research project undertaken with Healthy Waterways.

Traditional urban development practices and the resulting impervious surfaces within catchments have resulted in increased flows and pollutant loading into receiving waterways. To minimise the effects of urban development on surrounding environments in Australia, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) has been introduced as an innovative planning and design philosophy with the purpose of mitigating these impacts and protecting waterway health.

WSUD has been validated within Queensland’s legislation and its use is supported in new urban developments within South East Queensland (SEQ). However, there have been issues experienced while implementing vegetated stormwater assets under a new WSUD paradigm and the results at implementation have been varied.

This project explores the issues with the effective adoption of WSUD and presents an investigation of the current WSUD implementation process for stormwater management in Logan City, as a representation of the trends taking place for WSUD projects in SEQ. It discusses some of the impediments for transitioning to WSUD stormwater management practices, focusing on the issues that have been experienced thus far within Australia.

In examining the current status of WSUD implementation in Logan and throughout SEQ, this project challenges the present role of WSUD within the management of urban stormwater and indicates a need for redefining the application of WSUD in SEQ.

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